Genome-wide association analysis on monozygotic twin pairs offers a route to discovery of gene–environment interactions through testing for variability loci associated with sensitivity to individual environment/lifestyle. We present a genome-wide scan of loci associated with intra-pair differences in serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. We report data for 1,720 monozygotic female twin pairs from GenomEUtwin project with 2.5 million SNPs, imputed or genotyped, and measured serum lipid fractions for both twins. We found one locus associated with intra-pair differences in high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, rs2483058 in an intron of SRGAP2, where twins carrying the C allele are more sensitive to environmental factors (p = 3.98 × 10−8). We followed up the association in further genotyped monozygotic twins (N = 1 261) which showed a moderate association for the variant (p = .002, same direction of an effect). In addition, we report a new association on the level of apolipoprotein A-II (p = 4.03 × 10−8).
twins; association; lipids; apolipoproteins; interaction
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex and heritable eating disorder characterized by dangerously low body weight. Neither candidate gene studies nor an initial genome wide association study (GWAS) have yielded significant and replicated results. We performed a GWAS in 2,907 cases with AN from 14 countries (15 sites) and 14,860 ancestrally matched controls as part of the Genetic Consortium for AN (GCAN) and the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 3 (WTCCC3). Individual association analyses were conducted in each stratum and meta-analyzed across all 15 discovery datasets. Seventy-six (72 independent) SNPs were taken forward for in silico (two datasets) or de novo (13 datasets) replication genotyping in 2,677 independent AN cases and 8,629 European ancestry controls along with 458 AN cases and 421 controls from Japan. The final global meta-analysis across discovery and replication datasets comprised 5,551 AN cases and 21,080 controls. AN subtype analyses (1,606 AN restricting; 1,445 AN binge-purge) were performed. No findings reached genome-wide significance. Two intronic variants were suggestively associated: rs9839776 (P=3.01×10-7) in SOX2OT and rs17030795 (P=5.84×10-6) in PPP3CA. Two additional signals were specific to Europeans: rs1523921 (P=5.76×10-6) between CUL3 and FAM124B and rs1886797 (P=8.05×10-6) near SPATA13. Comparing discovery to replication results, 76% of the effects were in the same direction, an observation highly unlikely to be due to chance (P=4×10-6), strongly suggesting that true findings exist but that our sample, the largest yet reported, was underpowered for their detection. The accrual of large genotyped AN case-control samples should be an immediate priority for the field.
anorexia nervosa; eating disorders; GWAS; genome-wide association study; body mass index; metabolic
Forced vital capacity (FVC), a spirometric measure of pulmonary function, reflects lung volume and is used to diagnose and monitor lung diseases. We performed genome-wide association study meta-analysis of FVC in 52,253 individuals from 26 studies and followed up the top associations in 32,917 additional individuals of European ancestry. We found six new regions associated at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) with FVC in or near EFEMP1, BMP6, MIR-129-2/HSD17B12, PRDM11, WWOX, and KCNJ2. Two (GSTCD and PTCH1) loci previously associated with spirometric measures were related to FVC. Newly implicated regions were followed-up in samples of African American, Korean, Chinese, and Hispanic individuals. We detected transcripts for all six newly implicated genes in human lung tissue. The new loci may inform mechanisms involved in lung development and pathogenesis of restrictive lung disease.
We previously used a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster associated with heaviness of smoking within smokers to confirm the causal effect of smoking in reducing body mass index (BMI) in a Mendelian randomisation analysis. While seeking to extend these findings in a larger sample we found that this SNP is associated with 0.74% lower body mass index (BMI) per minor allele in current smokers (95% CI -0.97 to -0.51, P = 2.00×10−10), but also unexpectedly found that it was associated with 0.35% higher BMI in never smokers (95% CI +0.18 to +0.52, P = 6.38×10−5). An interaction test confirmed that these estimates differed from each other (P = 4.95×10−13). This difference in effects suggests the variant influences BMI both via pathways unrelated to smoking, and via the weight-reducing effects of smoking. It would therefore be essentially undetectable in an unstratified genome-wide association study of BMI, given the opposite association with BMI in never and current smokers. This demonstrates that novel associations may be obscured by hidden population sub-structure. Stratification on well-characterized environmental factors known to impact on health outcomes may therefore reveal novel genetic associations.
We found that a single nucleotide polymorphism in the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster, which is known to influence smoking heaviness, is associated with lower body mass index (BMI) in current smokers, but higher BMI in never smokers. This difference in effects suggests that the variant influences BMI both via pathways other than smoking, and via the weight-reducing effects of smoking, in opposite directions. The overall effect on BMI would therefore be undetectable in an unstratified genome-wide association study, indicating that novel associations may be obscured by hidden population sub-structure.
Smoking is a major risk factor for several somatic diseases, and is also
emerging as a causal factor for neuropsychiatric disorders. Genome-wide
association (GWA) and candidate gene studies for smoking behavior and nicotine
dependence (ND) have disclosed too few predisposing variants to account for the
high estimated heritability. Prior large-scale GWA studies have had very limited
phenotypic definitions of relevance to smoking-related behavior, which has
likely impeded the discovery of genetic effects. We performed genome-wide
association analyses on 1114 adult twins ascertained for ever smoking from the
population-based Finnish Twin Cohort study. The availability of 17
smoking-related phenotypes allowed us to comprehensively portray the dimensions
of smoking behavior, clustered into the domains of smoking initiation, amount
smoked, and ND. Our results highlight a locus on 16p12.3, with several SNPs in
the vicinity of CLEC19A showing association
(P<1×10−6) with smoking
quantity. Interestingly, CLEC19A is located close to a
previously reported attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) linkage
locus and an evident link between ADHD and smoking has been established.
Intriguing preliminary association
(P<1×10−5) was detected
between DSM-IV ND diagnosis and several SNPs in ERBB4, coding
for a Neuregulin receptor, on 2q33. The association between
ERBB4 and DSM-IV ND diagnosis was replicated in an
independent Australian sample. Interestingly, in the paper by Turner et al.,
significant increase in ErbB4 and Neuregulin 3 (Nrg3) expression was revealed
following chronic nicotine exposure and withdrawal in mice. Turner et al. also
detected an association between NRG3 SNPs and smoking cessation
success in a clinical trial. ERBB4 has previously been
associated with schizophrenia; further, it is located within an established
schizophrenia linkage locus and within a linkage locus for a smoker phenotype
identified in this sample. As a conclusion, we disclose novel tentative evidence
for the involvement of ERBB4 in ND, suggesting the involvement
of the Neuregulin/ErbB signalling pathway in addictions and providing a
plausible link between the high co-morbidity of schizophrenia and ND.
genome-wide association analysis; nicotine dependence; smoking behavior; smoking quantity; schizophrenia; ADHD
Concern over weight gain after smoking cessation has been hypothesized to discourage quit attempts and consequently reduce smoking cessation rates. The aim of this study was to examine the association between smoking status and weight concerns among a population-based sample of Finnish ever-smokers.
Data were collected in conjunction with the National FINRISK 2007 Study from a population-based sample of 25- to 74-yearold Finns. These analyses were based on a subsample of 1,614 ever-smokers. Participants were divided into 4 groups (daily smokers, occasional smokers, recent quitters, and former smokers) based on the self-reported smoking status. Weight concerns were analyzed as a sum score including 6 items (range 0–24). Regression analyses were used to examine the association between smoking status and weight concerns, while adjusting for multiple confounders.
Smoking status was significantly associated with weight concerns, current daily smokers reporting the highest levels of weight concerns. After adjusting for potential confounders (age, gender, body mass index, socioeconomic status, and health behavior), the weight concerns of daily smokers remained significantly higher in comparison with all other groups. Although women were more concerned about their weight than men, no gender-specific associations were found between weight concerns and smoking status.
Current daily smokers are more concerned about their weight than recent quitters, as well as former and occasional smokers. Weight concerns should be taken into account in tobacco dependence treatment.
The factor mixture model (FMM) uses a hybrid of both categorical and continuous latent
variables. The FMM is a good model for the underlying structure of psychopathology because the use
of both categorical and continuous latent variables allows the structure to be simultaneously
categorical and dimensional. This is useful because both diagnostic class membership and the range
of severity within and across diagnostic classes can be modeled concurrently. While the
conceptualization of the FMM has been explained in the literature, the use of the FMM is still not
prevalent. One reason is that there is little research about how such models should be applied in
practice and, once a well fitting model is obtained, how it should be interpreted. In this paper,
the FMM will be explored by studying a real data example on conduct disorder. By exploring this
example, this paper aims to explain the different formulations of the FMM, the various steps in
building a FMM, as well as how to decide between a FMM and alternative models.
MiRNAs are fine-tuning modifiers of skeletal muscle regulation, but knowledge of their hormonal control is lacking. We used a co-twin case–control study design, that is, monozygotic postmenopausal twin pairs discordant for estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to explore estrogen-dependent skeletal muscle regulation via miRNAs. MiRNA profiles were determined from vastus lateralis muscle of nine healthy 54–62-years-old monozygotic female twin pairs discordant for HRT (median 7 years). MCF-7 cells, human myoblast cultures and mouse muscle experiments were used to confirm estrogen’s causal role on the expression of specific miRNAs, their target mRNAs and proteins and finally the activation of related signaling pathway. Of the 230 miRNAs expressed at detectable levels in muscle samples, qPCR confirmed significantly lower miR-182, miR-223 and miR-142-3p expressions in HRT using than in their nonusing co-twins. Insulin/IGF-1 signaling emerged one common pathway targeted by these miRNAs. IGF-1R and FOXO3A mRNA and protein were more abundantly expressed in muscle samples of HRT users than nonusers. In vitro assays confirmed effective targeting of miR-182 and miR-223 on IGF-1R and FOXO3A mRNA as well as a dose-dependent miR-182 and miR-223 down-regulations concomitantly with up-regulation of FOXO3A and IGF-1R expression. Novel finding is the postmenopausal HRT-reduced miRs-182, miR-223 and miR-142-3p expression in female skeletal muscle. The observed miRNA-mediated enhancement of the target genes’ IGF-1R and FOXO3A expression as well as the activation of insulin/IGF-1 pathway signaling via phosphorylation of AKT and mTOR is an important mechanism for positive estrogen impact on skeletal muscle of postmenopausal women.
aging; AKT; FOXO3A; IGF-1 signaling; IGF-1R; menopause; miR-142-3p; miR-182; miR-223; mTOR; phosphorylation
Exome sequencing studies in complex diseases are challenged by the allelic heterogeneity, large number and modest effect sizes of associated variants on disease risk and the presence of large numbers of neutral variants, even in phenotypically relevant genes. Isolated populations with recent bottlenecks offer advantages for studying rare variants in complex diseases as they have deleterious variants that are present at higher frequencies as well as a substantial reduction in rare neutral variation. To explore the potential of the Finnish founder population for studying low-frequency (0.5–5%) variants in complex diseases, we compared exome sequence data on 3,000 Finns to the same number of non-Finnish Europeans and discovered that, despite having fewer variable sites overall, the average Finn has more low-frequency loss-of-function variants and complete gene knockouts. We then used several well-characterized Finnish population cohorts to study the phenotypic effects of 83 enriched loss-of-function variants across 60 phenotypes in 36,262 Finns. Using a deep set of quantitative traits collected on these cohorts, we show 5 associations (p<5×10−8) including splice variants in LPA that lowered plasma lipoprotein(a) levels (P = 1.5×10−117). Through accessing the national medical records of these participants, we evaluate the LPA finding via Mendelian randomization and confirm that these splice variants confer protection from cardiovascular disease (OR = 0.84, P = 3×10−4), demonstrating for the first time the correlation between very low levels of LPA in humans with potential therapeutic implications for cardiovascular diseases. More generally, this study articulates substantial advantages for studying the role of rare variation in complex phenotypes in founder populations like the Finns and by combining a unique population genetic history with data from large population cohorts and centralized research access to National Health Registers.
We explored the coding regions of 3,000 Finnish individuals with 3,000 non-Finnish Europeans (NFEs) using whole-exome sequence data, in order to understand how an individual from a bottlenecked population might differ from an individual from an out-bred population. We provide empirical evidence that there are more rare and low-frequency deleterious alleles in Finns compared to NFEs, such that an average Finn has almost twice as many low-frequency complete knockouts of a gene. As such, we hypothesized that some of these low-frequency loss-of-function variants might have important medical consequences in humans and genotyped 83 of these variants in 36,000 Finns. In doing so, we discovered that completely knocking out the TSFM gene might result in inviability or a very severe phenotype in humans and that knocking out the LPA gene might confer protection against coronary heart diseases, suggesting that LPA is likely to be a good potential therapeutic target.
The purpose of this study was to examine the motives for leisure time physical activity among active and inactive men and women in their mid-thirties. We used both cross-sectional and longitudinal designs. Altogether, 2308 participants (mean age 33.9 years, 53.4 % women) were identified from the population-based FinnTwin16 Cohort. Physically active and inactive individuals were identified on the basis of their leisure time MET hours/day. We evaluated participants’ physical activity motivation with a modified version of the Recreational Exercise Motivation Measure. Comparisons between active and inactive individuals were analysed using the Wald test for equality of means, and effect sizes were calculated as Cohen’s d. Motives related to mastery, physical fitness, social aspect of physical activity, psychological state, enjoyment, willingness to be fitter/look better than others and appearance were significantly more important for the active than inactive participants. Conforming to others’ expectations was the only item on which the inactive persons scored higher than active persons. The longitudinal results for physical activity were parallel to the cross-sectional results. This study supports to the view that motivation factors differ between active and inactive persons, and that intrinsic motives are associated with consistent leisure time physical activity.
intrinsic motivation; extrinsic motivation; exercise; leisure time physical activity; leisure time physical inactivity
Prevalence of neck pain has increased among adolescents. The origins of adult chronic neck pain may lie in late childhood, but for early prevention, more information is needed about its aetiology. We investigated the relative roles of genetic and environmental factors in early adolescent neck pain with a classic twin study.
Frequency of neck pain was assessed with a validated pain questionnaire in a population-based sample of nearly 1800 pairs of 11–12-year-old Finnish twins. Twin pair similarity for neck pain was quantified by polychoric correlations, and variance components were estimated with biometric structural equation modelling.
Prevalence of neck pain reported at least once monthly was 38% and at least once weekly 16%, with no significant differences between gender or zygosity. A greater polychoric correlation in liability to neck pain was found in monozygotic (0.67) than for dizygotic pairs (0.38), suggesting strong genetic influences. Model-fitting indicated that 68% (95% CI 62 to 74) of the variation in liability to neck pain could be attributed to genetic effects, with the remainder attributed to unshared environmental effects. No evidence for sex-specific genetic effects or for sex differences in the magnitude of genetic effects was found.
Genetic and unique environmental factors seem to play the most important roles in liability to neck pain in early adolescence. Future research should be directed to identifying pathways for genetic influences on neck pain and in exploring effectiveness of interventions that target already identified environmental risk factors.
neck pain; heritability; genetic; risk factor; child; adolescent; musculoskeletal pain
The pubertal height growth spurt is a distinctive feature of childhood growth reflecting both the central onset of puberty and local growth factors. Although little is known about the underlying genetics, growth variability during puberty correlates with adult risks for hormone-dependent cancer and adverse cardiometabolic health. The only gene so far associated with pubertal height growth, LIN28B, pleiotropically influences childhood growth, puberty and cancer progression, pointing to shared underlying mechanisms. To discover genetic loci influencing pubertal height and growth and to place them in context of overall growth and maturation, we performed genome-wide association meta-analyses in 18 737 European samples utilizing longitudinally collected height measurements. We found significant associations (P < 1.67 × 10−8) at 10 loci, including LIN28B. Five loci associated with pubertal timing, all impacting multiple aspects of growth. In particular, a novel variant correlated with expression of MAPK3, and associated both with increased prepubertal growth and earlier menarche. Another variant near ADCY3-POMC associated with increased body mass index, reduced pubertal growth and earlier puberty. Whereas epidemiological correlations suggest that early puberty marks a pathway from rapid prepubertal growth to reduced final height and adult obesity, our study shows that individual loci associating with pubertal growth have variable longitudinal growth patterns that may differ from epidemiological observations. Overall, this study uncovers part of the complex genetic architecture linking pubertal height growth, the timing of puberty and childhood obesity and provides new information to pinpoint processes linking these traits.
The aims of this study were to analyze associations of dopamine receptor genes (DRD1-5) with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and nicotine dependence (ND), and to investigate whether ND moderates genetic influences on MDD.
The sample was ascertained from the Finnish Twin Cohort. Twin pairs concordant for smoking history were recruited along with their family members, as part of the multisite Nicotine Addiction Genetics consortium. Genetic association analyses were based on 1428 adults. Total of 70 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms within the dopamine receptor genes were genotyped and analyzed for association with MDD, ND, and MD-ND co-morbidity. Individual level logistic regression analyses were based on 1296 adults with data on ND and MDD diagnoses, as well as on dopamine receptor genotypes adjusted for sex, age, and alcohol use. Four independent samples, such as population-based and case-control samples, were used for replication.
Rs2399496, located 1.5 kb downstream of DRD3, showed suggestive association for MDD (p = 0.00076) and significant association for MDD-ND co-morbidity (p = 0.000079). Suggestive gene-(rs2399496) by-ND-interaction justified analyses by genetic risk variant and ND status. Individuals with ND and two minor alleles (AA) of rs2399496 had almost six-fold risk for MDD (OR 5.74, 95%CI 3.12–10.5, p = 9.010e-09) compared to individuals without ND and with two major alleles (TT).
Significant association between a variant downstream of DRD3 and a co-morbid MDD-ND phenotype was detected. Our results further suggest that nicotine dependence may potentiate the influence of the DRD3 genetic variant on MDD.
Alcohol problems represent a classic example of a complex behavioral outcome that is likely influenced by many genes of small effect. A polygenic approach, which examines aggregate measured genetic effects, can have predictive power in cases where individual genes or genetic variants do not. In the current study, we first tested whether polygenic risk for alcohol problems—derived from genome-wide association estimates of an alcohol problems factor score from the age 18 assessment of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; n = 4304 individuals of European descent; 57% female)—predicted alcohol problems earlier in development (age 14) in an independent sample (FinnTwin12; n = 1162; 53% female). We then tested whether environmental factors (parental knowledge and peer deviance) moderated polygenic risk to predict alcohol problems in the FinnTwin12 sample. We found evidence for both polygenic association and for additive polygene-environment interaction. Higher polygenic scores predicted a greater number of alcohol problems (range of Pearson partial correlations 0.07–0.08, all p-values ≤ 0.01). Moreover, genetic influences were significantly more pronounced under conditions of low parental knowledge or high peer deviance (unstandardized regression coefficients (b), p-values (p), and percent of variance (R2) accounted for by interaction terms: b = 1.54, p = 0.02, R2 = 0.33%; b = 0.94, p = 0.04, R2 = 0.30%, respectively). Supplementary set-based analyses indicated that the individual top single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) contributing to the polygenic scores were not individually enriched for gene-environment interaction. Although the magnitude of the observed effects are small, this study illustrates the usefulness of polygenic approaches for understanding the pathways by which measured genetic predispositions come together with environmental factors to predict complex behavioral outcomes.
alcohol problems; adolescence; gene-by-environment; ALSPAC; FinnTwin12
Mega- or meta-analytic studies (e.g. genome-wide association studies) are increasingly used in behavior genetics. An issue in such studies is that phenotypes are often measured by different instruments across study cohorts, requiring harmonization of measures so that more powerful fixed effect meta-analyses can be employed. Within the Genetics of Personality Consortium, we demonstrate for two clinically relevant personality traits, Neuroticism and Extraversion, how Item-Response Theory (IRT) can be applied to map item data from different inventories to the same underlying constructs. Personality item data were analyzed in >160,000 individuals from 23 cohorts across Europe, USA and Australia in which Neuroticism and Extraversion were assessed by nine different personality inventories. Results showed that harmonization was very successful for most personality inventories and moderately successful for some. Neuroticism and Extraversion inventories were largely measurement invariant across cohorts, in particular when comparing cohorts from countries where the same language is spoken. The IRT-based scores for Neuroticism and Extraversion were heritable (48 and 49 %, respectively, based on a meta-analysis of six twin cohorts, total N = 29,496 and 29,501 twin pairs, respectively) with a significant part of the heritability due to non-additive genetic factors. For Extraversion, these genetic factors qualitatively differ across sexes. We showed that our IRT method can lead to a large increase in sample size and therefore statistical power. The IRT approach may be applied to any mega- or meta-analytic study in which item-based behavioral measures need to be harmonized.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10519-014-9654-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Personality; Item-Response Theory; Measurement; Genome-wide association studies; Consortium; Meta-analysis
In 1990, Blum and colleagues first reported an association between DRD2 and alcoholism. While there have been subsequent replications of this genetic association, there have also been numerous studies that failed to detect an association between DRD2 and alcohol dependence. We propose that one aspect contributing to this inconsistency is the variation in alcohol phenotype used across studies.
Within the population based Finnish twin sample, FinnTwin16, we previously performed multivariate twin analyses to extract latent genetic factors which account for the variation across seven measures of alcohol consumption (frequency of drinking, frequency × quantity, frequency of heavy drinking, frequency of intoxication, and maximum drinks in a 24 hour period) and problems (the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index-RAPI and the Mälmö-modified Michigan Alcohol Screen Test - MmMAST) in 3,065 twins. In the present study, we examined the association between thirty-one DRD2/ANKK1 SNPs and the genetic factor scores generated by twin analyses in a subset of FinnTwin16 (n=602). We focus on two of the genetic factors: a general alcohol consumption and problems factor score which represents shared genetic variance across alcohol measures, and an alcohol problems genetic factor score which loads onto the two indices of problematic drinking (MAST and RAPI).
After correction for multiple testing across SNPs and phenotypes, of the thirty-one SNPs genotyped across DRD2/ANKK1, one SNP (rs10891549) showed significant association with the general alcohol consumption and problems factor score (p=0.004), and four SNPs (rs10891549, rs1554929, rs6275, rs6279), representing 2 independent signals after accounting for LD, showed significant association with the alcohol problems genetic factor score (p=0.005, p=0.005, p=0.003, p=0.003).
In this study, we provide additional positive evidence for the association between DRD2/ANKK1 and alcohol outcomes, including frequency of drinking and drinking problems. Additionally, post hoc analyses indicate stronger association signals using genetic factor scores than individual measures, which suggests that accounting for the genetic architecture of the alcohol measures reduces genetic heterogeneity in alcohol dependence outcomes in this sample and enhances the ability to detect association.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol are heritable, modifiable, risk factors for coronary artery disease. To identify new loci and refine known loci influencing these lipids, we examined 188,578 individuals using genome-wide and custom genotyping arrays. We identify and annotate 157 loci associated with lipid levels at P < 5×10−8, including 62 loci not previously associated with lipid levels in humans. Using dense genotyping in individuals of European, East Asian, South Asian, and African ancestry, we narrow association signals in 12 loci. We find that loci associated with blood lipids are often associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits including coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio, and body mass index. Our results illustrate the value of genetic data from individuals of diverse ancestries and provide insights into biological mechanisms regulating blood lipids to guide future genetic, biological, and therapeutic research.
Triglycerides are transported in plasma by specific triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; in epidemiologic studies, increased triglyceride levels correlate with higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, it is unclear whether this association reflects causal processes. We used 185 common variants recently mapped for plasma lipids (P<5×10−8 for each) to examine the role of triglycerides on risk for CAD. First, we highlight loci associated with both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides, and show that the direction and magnitude of both are factors in determining CAD risk. Second, we consider loci with only a strong magnitude of association with triglycerides and show that these loci are also associated with CAD. Finally, in a model accounting for effects on LDL-C and/or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a polymorphism's strength of effect on triglycerides is correlated with the magnitude of its effect on CAD risk. These results suggest that triglyceride-rich lipoproteins causally influence risk for CAD.
Inter-individual variation in mean leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with cancer and several age-associated diseases. Here, in a genome-wide meta-analysis of 37,684 individuals with replication of selected variants in a further 10,739 individuals, we identified seven loci, including five novel loci, associated with mean LTL (P<5x10−8). Five of the loci contain genes (TERC, TERT, NAF1, OBFC1, RTEL1) that are known to be involved in telomere biology. Lead SNPs at two loci (TERC and TERT) associate with several cancers and other diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Moreover, a genetic risk score analysis combining lead variants at all seven loci in 22,233 coronary artery disease cases and 64,762 controls showed an association of the alleles associated with shorter LTL with increased risk of CAD (21% (95% CI: 5–35%) per standard deviation in LTL, p=0.014). Our findings support a causal role of telomere length variation in some age-related diseases.
The purpose of this study was to investigate how physical activity (PA), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and body composition are associated with heart rate variability (HRV)-based indicators of stress and recovery on workdays. Additionally, we evaluated the association of objectively measured stress with self-reported burnout symptoms.
Participants of this cross-sectional study were 81 healthy males (age range 26–40 y). Stress and recovery on workdays were measured objectively based on HRV recordings. CRF and anthropometry were assessed in laboratory conditions. The level of PA was based on a detailed PA interview (MET index [MET-h/d]) and self-reported activity class.
PA, CRF, and body composition were significantly associated with levels of stress and recovery on workdays. MET index (P < 0.001), activity class (P = 0.001), and CRF (P = 0.019) were negatively associated with stress during working hours whereas body fat percentage (P = 0.005) was positively associated. Overall, 27.5% of the variance of total stress on workdays (P = 0.001) was accounted for by PA, CRF, and body composition. Body fat percentage and body mass index were negatively associated with night-time recovery whereas CRF was positively associated. Objective work stress was associated (P = 0.003) with subjective burnout symptoms.
PA, CRF, and body composition are associated with HRV-based stress and recovery levels, which needs to be taken into account in the measurement, prevention, and treatment of work-related stress. The HRV-based method used to determine work-related stress and recovery was associated with self-reported burnout symptoms, but more research on the clinical importance of the methodology is needed.
Body composition; Body fat percentage; BMI; Cardiorespiratory fitness; HRV; Physical activity; Recovery; Working hours; Work stress
Implicating particular genes in the generation of complex brain and behavior phenotypes requires multiple lines of evidence. The rarity of most high impact genetic variants typically precludes the possibility of accruing statistical evidence that they are associated with a given trait. We show here that the enrichment of a rare Chromosome 22q11.22 deletion in a recently expanded Northern Finnish sub-isolate enables the detection of association between TOP3β and both schizophrenia and cognitive impairment. Biochemical analysis of TOP3β revealed that this topoisomerase is a component of cytosolic messenger ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) and is catalytically active on RNA. The recruitment of TOP3β to mRNPs was independent of RNA cis-elements and was coupled to the co-recruitment of FMRP, the disease gene product in fragile X mental retardation syndrome (FXS). Thus, we uncover a novel role for TOP3β in mRNA metabolism and provide several lines of evidence implicating it in neurodevelopmental disorders.
The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of age, sex, and body mass index (BMI) on total sitting time among the Finnish twin cohort. Also, heritability and environmental factors were analysed. The final sample included 6713 twin individuals 53–67 years of age (46% men). Among them there were 1940 complete twin pairs (732 monozygotic [MZ] and 1208 dizygotic [DZ] twin pairs). Sedentary behaviour was queried with a self-reported questionnaire with multiple-choice questions about sitting time at different domains. The mean total sitting time per day was 6 hours 41 minutes (standard deviation: 2 hours 41 minutes). The total sitting time was less in women than in men (P = 0.002). Older age was associated with less total sitting time (P < 0.001). Those with higher body mass index had higher total sitting time in age and sex adjusted analysis (P < 0.001). MZ pairs were more similar for sitting time than DZ pairs, with initial estimates of heritability for the total sitting time of 35%.The influence of shared environmental factors was negligible (1%), while most (64%) of the variation could be ascribed to unique environmental factors, the latter including measurement error.
Different approaches are being taken to clarify the role of various factors in the development of physical activity behaviors. Genetic studies are a new area of physical activity research and also the motives for physical activity have been widely studied. The purpose of this paper is to review the findings emerging from the longitudinal genetic studies on leisure-time physical activity and to evaluate the associations between motivational factors and leisure-time physical activity. The focus is to review recent findings of longitudinal Finnish twin studies. The results of the latest longitudinal Finnish twin studies point to the existence of age-specific genetic and environmental influences on leisure-time physical activity. Variations in environmental factors seem to explain the observed deterioration in leisure-time physical activity levels. A decline in genetic influences is seen first from adolescence to young adulthood and again from the age of thirty to the mid-thirties. In the Finnish twin participants, mastery, physical fitness, and psychological state were the major motivation factors associated with consistent leisure-time physical activity behavior. The results also indicate that intrinsic motivation factors may be important for engagement in leisure-time physical activity.
Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) genes (CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4) have been reproducibly associated with nicotine dependence, smoking behaviors, and lung cancer risk. Of the few reports that have focused on early smoking behaviors, association results have been mixed. This meta-analysis examines early smoking phenotypes and SNPs in the gene cluster to determine: (1) whether the most robust association signal in this region (rs16969968) for other smoking behaviors is also associated with early behaviors, and/or (2) if additional statistically independent signals are important in early smoking. We focused on two phenotypes: age of tobacco initiation (AOI) and age of first regular tobacco use (AOS). This study included 56,034 subjects (41 groups) spanning nine countries and evaluated five SNPs including rs1948, rs16969968, rs578776, rs588765, and rs684513. Each dataset was analyzed using a centrally generated script. Meta-analyses were conducted from summary statistics. AOS yielded significant associations with SNPs rs578776 (beta = 0.02, P = 0.004), rs1948 (beta = 0.023, P = 0.018), and rs684513 (beta = 0.032, P = 0.017), indicating protective effects. There were no significant associations for the AOI phenotype. Importantly, rs16969968, the most replicated signal in this region for nicotine dependence, cigarettes per day, and cotinine levels, was not associated with AOI (P = 0.59) or AOS (P = 0.92). These results provide important insight into the complexity of smoking behavior phenotypes, and suggest that association signals in the CHRNA5/A3/B4 gene cluster affecting early smoking behaviors may be different from those affecting the mature nicotine dependence phenotype.
CHRNA5; CHRNA3; CHRNB4; meta-analysis; nicotine; smoke